Towing & parking Questions

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by Capt Ron, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. Capt Ron

    Capt Ron New Member

    Greetings Folks, I am a newbie to RVing: Ijust bought an 01 Prowler 30s travel trailer. To tow it, I am using a 06 chevy 1500 with a 5.3L engine and a 5:3:3 rearend ratio. The truck also has a 4" lowering in the back an 2" in front. The truck is rated to pull up to 7,000lbs., and the trailer is 5,500lbs., but my in-laws swear I won't be able to pull it. Will there be any problems?

    Also, I kinda got in over my head with the length. 30' is pretty long condsidering that I have never pulled a trailer. Any driving and or parking tips woul be appreciated.
  2. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    RE: Towing & parking Questions

    My best advice is "Don't load the trailer with too many items (weight)". It won't take very much camping gear to eat up 1500lbs. You also need to take into account the weight of the water in your RV fresh water tank and propane. You shoud be able to tow it, but be careful. You also need to be able to stop it and control it on hills. Good luck and happy camping. Learning how to park it and back it up comes with white knuckle practice. :evil: :bleh:
  3. csavage

    csavage New Member

    RE: Towing & parking Questions

    First thing, take your new purchase to a big parking lot and practice backing up and parking from both directions. I took some bottles and practiced parking between the bottles. Expect that this practice will take several hours-I used a community college parking lot on a Sunday.
    Second, get a swaybar. It took me 3 years and one mountain trip to realize that these are one of the most important additions to trailering. Not only does it eliminate swaying on a narrow mountain road with a crosswind, it allows your engine to not have to work as hard pulling it straight ahead.
    Third, look into a cane air filter for your truck. Fram is selling them on it's website. You'll add about 15-25 hp to your engine's capacity and add about 1-2 mpg to your gas mileage.
    My trailer weighs about 5000. My Expedition is rated to tow about 6100 and I get about 10-11 mpg trailering. This summer I went over Loveland Pass, Fremont Pass, Monarch Pass and Red Mountain Pass-all are 11,300+ feet. I was in second gear going up and down and I was going 25-30 miles/hour but the truck did fine.
    Make sure your truck has a transmission cooler, if not, Camping World has some good aftermarket ones.
    Be careful going down hills. I went down from Alamogordo to White Sands, NM, in 3rd and cooked my truck brakes. Go down in second gear, you'll top out at about 40 miles/hour that way. Also,although your truck has ABS, your trailer has drum brakes and they will lock up. So watch for rainslicked roads-I saw an Expedition/Airstream that rolled/jack-knifed coming down Raton Pass.
    Sounds like I do mountains pretty slow, doesn't it? Well, I figure you can really wreck your trip pretty quick if you're not careful. I try to pullover whenever it's safe to allow the cars behind me to pass.
    And another thing, make sure you carry a tire gauge and check the trailer tires every couple of days, especially if you are changing altitudes and the temps are going up or down. Your tires have a load rating that matches your gvwr of your trailer. Underinflated tires get hot and blow out. As a precaution, I'd get a jack that will work on the trailer. Don't count on your truck jack to work either.
    Kinda wordy I know....just trying to save you some head/heartache
  4. Capt Ron

    Capt Ron New Member

    Re: Towing & parking Questions

    Thanks guys. A sway bar is in the works and practice along with it.
  5. dennis44

    dennis44 New Member

    Re: Towing & parking Questions

    On our first trip out west where there are "real" mountains, an old timer told me to remember one thing "what ever gear your in going up the mountain thats the gear you want to be in coming down the mountain." I might suggest that you buy a couple of books: Mountain Directory West and Mountain Directory East. They will give you all the skinney on the mountain passes. I've found these invaluable.

    Enjoy the freedom of the open roads we sure do.

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